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Writer's Block? More Like, 'Writers Rock!'

It's been a while since you've written anything, huh? No judgement here! I know the feeling and have some ideas that may help. I've updated my running list of songwriting prompts gathered over the past year (gasp - I can't believe it's been over a year already!) from my songwriter group. Hope these help!

writing
  1. Using a different melody, write an additional verse to one of your favorite songs...and then finish your song with new verses/chorus.
  2. Write a song with an unusual form (for example, start with the chorus! or if that's not out-of-the-box enough, go even crazier - I challenge you!).
  3. I love this idea but feel free to take elements of it and make it your own since it's a bit more involved. I call it 'Picture Plot': Using a series of photos (which you can collect from any source you like - internet, garage sale, walking around, your camera/phone, Instagram, etc. etc.), arrange them into a 'story' and use that as the basis of your song plot. Happy photo-ing :)
  4. Write a song as if you were a specific artist of band. For example, pretend you are Metallica and write a song that sounds like they wrote it. Get it? Awesome. PS. You don't have to choose Metallica.
  5. Write a song using, or inspired by, 'found sounds.' What does that mean, you ask? Feel free to interpret in whatever way is useful, but here are some examples: Record different sounds throughout your day and then compose a song using your audio software of choice with clips from said recorded songs. You could also record and/or jot down notes based on sounds heard throughout the day and use them as your song inspiration (i.e. you heard two people discussing a family argument and use that as the subject matter, meanwhile, a sound clip heard at a nearby coffee shop forms the basis of your melody, etc. etc.).
  6. Write a song inspired by a proverb. What exactly is a proverb, you ask? Well, it's a short pithy saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice. For example, 'the pen is mightier than the sword' or 'when in Rome, do as the Romans.'
  7. Write a song about outer space. Awesome.
  8. Use a different instrument OR use a non-instrument (i.e. physical object or computer-based) OR use an alternate tuning (for stringed instruments).
  9. Pick up any book or magazine, open it up to a random page and chose the first sentence on that page. Make that the first line of your song.
  10. Choose a song or album at random (shuffle on iTunes or grab an actual CD/record, etc.) and write a song inspired by that style/genre.
  11. Write a song without using any pronouns.
  12. Choose a phone number out of your phone and write a song using the chords from the number. Pick any key. If you want to limit the number of chords in your progression, choose a number with a few zeros. You can decide to keep the chords in the same order or mix it up. For example: 508-243-5454 in the key of C, would be: Gmaj - (skip the 0) - Cmaj - Dmin - Fmaj - Emin - Gmaj -Fmaj - Gmaj - Fmaj
  13. Finish an unfinished song!
  14. Try an online random prompt generator. Some examples include: Creativity Portal and Learn How To Write Songs
  15. Write a song in which the chorus is one verb repeated as many time as you like.
  16. Take an existing song and 'turn it on its head.' It's up to you how you want to interpret that - you can remix it, rewrite the lyrics, rearrange the music, change the style, you name it! But don't be afraid to take it in another direction completely and ultimately create a brand new song out of the exercise.
  17. Write a song in a style (or genre) that is different from what you normally do. For example, if you typically write pop songs, try a ballad or narrative - or go classic rock!